Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum (FFRP) has been challenged to come up with strategies of engaging the government in including women in economic empowerment under COVID-19 recovery process.
The call was made by the Speaker of Parliament, Donatille Mukabalisa while opening a two-day executive workshop for members of Parliament on Gender Responsive Economic Policy Management (GEPM), December 9.
The main objective of this workshop is to enhance skills of Members of Parliament in assessing gender compliance of government socio-economic policies in their formulation and implementation.
This would enhance the role of Parliament in ensuring accountability for gender equality in Rwanda.
Speaker Mukabalisa said that it is the primary role of parliament to pass national budgets with Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB).
For instance, Mukabalisa said that there are low numbers of women financially included, in small and medium size businesses.
She said the increasing school girls’ dropout rates among others continue to derail the country’s objective of gender equality.
“This is a very important moment for us as parliament because it will enable us to assess what we have achieved and focus on current issues so that we lawmakers can think of what to do about them,” Mukabalisa said.
“We have good political will, policies and laws. What is really missing? What should we do as parliament to deliver? This is time for us to be equipped with skills so that we can address these challenges,” Mukabalisa said.
The UN Women Country Representative, Fatou Aminata Lo commended Rwanda for establishing gender responsive budgeting as an entry point to addressing gender disparities in the economy.
Aminata Lo said that this practice, which started in 2002 in Rwanda, and has been adopted by many countries even though each of them has a different framework of implementation, should be a stance for Rwanda to rethink the same process in the $300million Covid-19 Economic Recovery Fund (ERF).
“Evidence across sectors, including economic planning and emergency response, demonstrates unquestioningly that policies that do not consult women or include them in decision-making are simply less effective, and can even do harm,” Aminata Lo said.